aa;Nkh lage ik muddat gu;zrii paa-e ((ishq jo biich me;N hai
milte hai;N ma((shuuq agar to milte hai;N sharmaa))e hanuuz

1) with eyes closed/'attached', a single/particular/unique/excellent interval passed; since the 'foot of passion' is between,
2) if the beloved meets, then she meets ashamedly/abashedly still/now



aa;Nkh lagnaa : 'The eyes to close'; to fall asleep, to doze; to have the eyes fixed on another (as an object of affection), to be enamoured (of)'. (Platts p.95)


paa : 'The foot; a footstep, vestige; cause, pretence, pretext; power, strength; opposition, resistance'. (Steingass p.228)

S. R. Faruqi:

Mir Hasan has composed this theme in his own style:

((ishq kaa raaz agar nah khul jaataa
is :tara;h to nah ham se sharmaataa

[if the secret of passion had not been revealed
then in this way she wouldn't have been ashamed before us]

In Mir's verse, paa-e ((ishq jo biich me;N hai is a very enjoyable expression, and has the force of a metaphor because in it passion can be seen, like some third person, between the lover and the beloved. It's obvious that when some other person is present, the beloved will feel ashamed/abashed. In


he's presented this theme even more explicitly and with an entirely new mood/style.

In the present verse he has, like Mir Hasan, made use of implication. He has not made clear whether the beloved too has made a declaration of love-- he's only said that an interval of time passed with the eyes of both meeting. The beloved has already realized that someone is dying of love for her. From the beloved's being ashamed/abashed, it can be guessed that there's surely one or another kind of effect on her heart.

But as yet perhaps no one has made an avowal of love; the affair is still in its earliest stages. Because beyond aa;Nkh lage ik muddat gu;zrii , no other communication has been mentioned. If there had been no effect on the beloved's heart, then she would already have forgotten about what happened in that interval of time. But since even now when she meets him she is ashamed/abashed, the probability is that she too was affected.

In the whole verse there's such a narrative expression of veiledness [pardah-daarii], a home-like innocence, and a whole cultural atmosphere, that the mood/style that's been created has become a rendering more of life than of a love affair. Since in Mir Hasan's verse there's no suggestion of changes over time, its meaningfulness has been lessened. See {1626,3}.



How excellent it is that aa;Nkh lagnaa can mean 'for the eyes to be closed', as well as 'for the eyes to be fixed on someone' (see the definition above)! And then, thanks to the splendid versatility of ik , the 'interval' spent in this condition could have been anything in the whole range from 'single' through 'particular' through 'unique' to 'excellent'.

We're thus left to decide for ourselves what kind of a lovers' meeting took place-- and then to decide exactly why the beloved feels 'ashamed' or 'abashed'. As SRF notes, the 'foot' of passion is presented almost as an intruder, affecting the lovers' behavior toward each other. It also resonates nicely with the 'eyes' earlier in the line. And of course we can also note and enjoy the complex secondary meanings of paa (see the definition above).

For further discussion of 'foot of' idioms, see:


And compare Ghalib's use of the same 'foot' idiom: